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India’s Wipro promotes Azim Premji son Rishad to board

By: | Updated: April 22, 2015 11:35 AM

Wipro Ltd, India's third-biggest software services exporter, has appointed Rishad Premji, the son of billionaire founder Azim Premji to its board...

Wipro, Wipro net profit, Wipro India, wipro careers in india, Wipro profit, Wipro Q4 profit, Wipro revenue, Azim Premji, India, Rishad Premji, Rishad Azim Premji, Wipro director, Wipro board members, Wipro share price, Wipro gateway, Wipro ceo, Wipro bpo, Company news, business news, India NewsRishad Premji (Inset), eldest son of Azim Premji and a Harvard Business School graduate, was already Wipro’s chief strategy officer. (Reuters)

Wipro Ltd, India’s third-biggest software services exporter, has appointed the son of billionaire founder Azim Premji to its board, in a long awaited promotion that moves the chairman’s heir apparent closer to the top spot.

Rishad Premji, eldest son and a Harvard Business School graduate, was already Wipro’s chief strategy officer (CSO). He joins the board from May 1.

The appointment was announced on Tuesday alongside Wipro’s fourth-quarter earnings and a modest 2 percent rise in profit. That beat expectations of a slight dip, thanks to a rise in its Western clients’ technology spending.

Wipro founder Azim Premji took over his own father’s ailing vegetable oil business in the mid-1960s. He diversified into making hydraulic cylinders in the 1970s and struck out into information technology in 1980.

“There is nothing much to be read into this other than the fact he is really representing shareholders’ interest,” Wipro’s Chief Executive Officer T.K. Kurien told reporters, when asked about Rishad’s elevation to the board.

For its fourth quarter ended March 31, Wipro’s net profit rose to 22.72 billion rupees ($361.38 million), compared with 22.27 billion rupees in the same period the previous year, the company said in a statement.

Analysts, on average, had expected Wipro to report a profit of 21.8 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Total revenue rose to 121.4 billion rupees in the quarter, a rise of 4 percent over last year, as the company added 65 new clients.

Wipro, which makes about three quarters of its sales in the United States and Europe, said its IT services revenue is likely to be $1.77 billion to $1.79 billion in the June quarter, growth of up to 1.1 percent from the preceding quarter.

Wipro has been looking to boost revenue from high margin services that help overseas clients seeking to speed up automation and do more business online.

Rajan Kohli, head of Wipro’s newly-formed digital business unit, said last month the unit aimed to generate $1 billion in annual revenue within three years, which would make it one of the company’s top sources of income.

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